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Re: Linux-libre source code will be taken offline

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: Linux-libre source code will be taken offline
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2021 10:43:20 +0200


On Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 17:46, Jason Self <> wrote:

> Yes. In gen6. They have been moved, not deleted.
> The versioning and locations in terms of gnuN and genN are knowable and
> predictable in advance. I wonder if there is, or could be made, a way to
> leverage that so that future moving of files can be done without
> causing problems, as long as the files themselves remain otherwise
> identical. As an example, the current cleanup scripts might be found in
> old/gen7 in the future. Although using git would probably be a better
> choice as it would seem to eliminate URL hunting.

Guix has the availability to transparently build any old version using
“guix time-machine”, i.e.,

  guix time-machine --commit=0c7c84407d65f3d03ad1fe3984ae4d524992f498 \
       -- build linux-libre

should build the Linux (libre) kernel as it was on 2020, 25th May.

If the user allow substitutes, then the necessary materials is fetch
from machines hosted in Berlin and maintain by Guix folk.

However, if the user does not allow substitutes, then the source are
first fetched from upstream.  Here several cases of origin.  Upstream is
still up, everything is fine.  Upstream disappeared in the meantime, it
depends on the “type” of the origin and the core issue is the mapping
between the information at package time (e.g., 2020, 25th May) and the
servers providing a fallback at request time for this missing source.

When the upstream source is a Git repo, this map is a simple
contend-addressed lookup by a (almost) straightforward resolver.

When the upstream source is not Git repo, this map becomes harder and
requires – in addition to a fallback server – an external resolver:
something that maps from the information at package time (2020, 25th
May) to the fallback server.

If the package linux-libre defined on 2020, 25th May (written on stone)
points to an URL source which disappears, this Guix time-machine feature
becomes doomed because URL is a really bad contend-addressed system as
all the broken internet shows us.

For sure, the infrastructure needs to evolve for a better future; easier
maintainability for instance.  However, please consider the archivist
point of view and help to not break the past. :-)


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